Poker Terms: Glossary and Definitions
Common Poker Terms
In poker, there is practically a library of poker terms that are commonly used. For the uninitiated, these terms can sound like a completely different language but can help accelerate your progress when learning how to play poker. When a poker player says, “I flopped a belly buster on a rainbow board”, when they are really saying that they have an inside straight draw, after the dealer dealt the first three cards, all of which happen to be a different suit.
Watching enough televised poker, like on the World Poker Tour, you can start getting a feel for the poker terms that are most commonly used, but sometimes you’ll run into a term that makes you go “Huh?”. As with most industries or games though, these colorful terms are part of what makes a game inclusive and special to it’s players. Poker is no different at all and being able to shoot the breeze with poker lingo can be a pretty fun thing to do when you are familiar with it.
If the list below isn’t comprehensive enough, our friends over at Poker Terms have put together a poker slang and lingo guide that puts ours to shame. They have around 1000 poker terms in their dictionary and it’s growing all the time. In addition to the basic introductory terms, they have some really obscure societal references and also a bunch of online poker forum jokes. Check it out if you get a chance.
So, to help out the novice poker players, here is a list of poker terms, supplied by the nice people over at Party Poker.
A full house with three aces and any pair.
A five card hand that contains one Ace, with no straight or flush or a hand with no pair in it.
A hand that contains two pairs, one of which is Aces.
Checking/Betting/Raising. A game in which players are playing a lot of pots is considered an “action” game.
Any player who is still in the hand.
A purchase of more chips (optional) at the end of the re-buy period in a tournament.
When a player bets all his/her chips.: In online poker, you may be deemed “All-in” when you are disconnected (even if you have chips remaining).
Money placed in the pot before the hand is begun.
When a hand is beaten by a lucky draw.
A draw and/or catch to an Inside Straight.
To place chips into the pot.
Bet the Pot
When a player bets the amount of the pot.
A straight that is A-2-3-4-5.
A designated amount that is placed by the player sitting in the second position, clockwise from the dealer, before any cards are dealt. (Players joining a game in progress must post a Big Blind, but may do so from any position.)
A hand that contains an A-K.
The bet(s) that must be made by the two players sitting directly to the dealer’s left which will start the action on the first round of betting. The blinds are posted before any cards are dealt. (A “Blind” bet is one that is made in the dark without looking at your cards.)
When a player raises without looking at his hand.
To make other players believe that one has a better hand than he/she might otherwise have by betting or raising when they do not have the best hand.
The cards that are dealt face-up in a poker game for all players to see. In flop games, five cards are dealt face-up in the center of the table. In Seven Card Stud, four cards are dealt face-up in front of each player.
When a player uses the lowest card on the flop to make a pair with one of his own cards.
An Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10).
The forced bet made on the first round of betting by the player who is dealt the lowest card showing in Seven Card Stud and Stud 8 or Better. In Razz (Lowball) it is the highest card showing
Bring It In
To start the betting on the first round.
A player who antes himself broke.
A pair of Aces.
Also known as the dealer button, it is a small round disk that is moved from player to player in a clockwise direction following each hand, to theoretically indicate the dealer of each hand.
The minimum amount of money required by a player to sit down in a particular poker game.
When a player chooses to match the previous bet.
To call both a bet and raise(s).
To take the last of the maximum amount of raises allowed per round of betting.
The room or space in a casino where poker is played.
A player’s last chips.
To leave a game and convert your chips to cash.
When it’s a player’s turn to act and there has been no action in front of them and he opts not to bet, he “checks.”
When a player first checks and then raises in a betting round.
To return the blinds to the players who posted them and move on to the next hand if no other players call. It also means to “split the pot”.
When two or more players conspire to cheat in a poker game.
Cards that are face-up and used by all players.
Dead Man’s Hand
Two pair – Aces and Eights (Wild Bill Hickock was shot in the back while playing this hand).
This is the first exposed card, or “up” card, in a player’s hand in Stud games.
Hole cards. Cards that are dealt face down.
It’s a Holdem hand consisting of a 10-2 (Brunson won the world championship two years in a row on the final hand with these cards).
Form of poker where each player is dealt five cards with the option of discarding one or more and replacing them with new ones and the low hand wins.
Form of poker where each player is dealt five cards down with the option of discarding one or more and replacing them with new ones to attempt to make a better hand.
A pair of Twos.
A pair of Twos.
Position on a round of betting where the player must act before most of the other players at the table. (It’s considered the two positions located to the left of the Blinds.)
Also known as the “river” card. In flop games, this represents the fifth community card on the table and the final round of betting. In Stud games, this is the fifth card dealt to each player and represents the third round of betting.
A poker game in which the player is dealt five cards down. They have one draw to replace them and the best high hand wins the pot.
A poker game in which each player is dealt five cards, one down and four up, with betting after 2, 3, 4, & 5 cards.
Calling a bet without raising.
In Hold’em and Omaha, the first three community cards that are dealt face-up in the center of the table all at one time. The “flop” also indicates the second round of betting.
Poker games (Hold ’em and Omaha) that are played using community cards that are dealt face up in the center of the table.
An employee of the cardroom who makes rulings and decisions.
Any five cards of the same suit.
When a player has four cards in his hand of the same suit and is hoping to draw a fifth to make a flush.
To throw your hand away when it’s your turn to act.
A required bet that starts the action on the first round of a poker hand.
Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same number or face value (“quads”).
In flop games, it is the fourth community card dealt (also known as “the turn”) and represents the third round of betting. In Stud games, it is the fourth card dealt to each player and represents the second round of betting.
Any three cards of the same number or face value, plus any other two cards of the same number or face value.
To draw to and/or hit an inside straight.
A player’s best five cards.
To decide the first dealer in the flop tournaments each user is dealt a single card and the player with the highest card (based on the card and the suit order – of spades, hearts, diamonds & clubs) becomes the theoretical dealer.
Split pot games.
Also known as Texas Hold ’em, where the players get two down cards and five community cards. See our complete Hold ’em rules in our Game Rules section.
These are the Down Cards in front of the players.
The casino or cardroom that is hosting the poker game.
Four cards which require another between the top and the bottom card to complete a straight. Players who catch this card make an Inside Straight.
A form of poker in which the cardroom or casino offers a jackpot to a player who has lost with a really big hand (usually Aces full or better).
A form of poker in which a player needs to have at least a pair of jacks to open the betting.
Kansas City Lowball
Form of lowball poker in which the worst poker hand (2, 3, 4, 5, 7 of different suits) is the best hand. It’s also known as Deuce to Seven.
Keep Them Honest
To call at the end of a hand to prevent someone from bluffing.
A card that gives you a big draw or makes your hand.
In a session or tournament, the one hand that ends up being a turning point for the player, either for better or worse.
The highest unpaired side card in a players’ hand.
A method to stimulate action. It is a forced bet by someone who has just won a pot(s).
A hand that contains a K-J.
Position on a round of betting where the player must act after most of the other players have acted (usually considered to be the two positions next to the button).
Lay Down Your Hand
When a player folds.
The first player to bet into a pot.
A game that has fixed minimum and maximum betting intervals along with a prescribed number of raises.
The first player who calls a bet.
To enter the pot by calling rather than raising. (The usual concept of “Limp In” is when the first person to speak just calls the Big Blind.)
An instance where the player puts in a dark bet and is allowed to raise, even if no other player raises. It’s also known as an “option”.
In Stud Games, cards that have not yet been seen and are presumed to still be in play.
A hand that could still win the pot.
A not so knowledgeable player who plays a lot of hands.
When a player calls the final bet before the showdown.
Is a player who plays a lot hands.
Is a form of draw poker in which the lowest hand wins the pot.
The center pot. Any other bets are placed in a side pot(s) and are contested among the remaining players. This occurs when a player(s) goes all-in.
To make the deck is to shuffle the deck.
A very aggressive player who plays a lot of hands.
In flop games, when a player makes a pair with one of his/her down cards and the middle card on the flop.
Somewhere between the early and late positions on a round of betting (the fifth, sixth and seventh seats to the left of the button).
To discard or throw away your hand. It’s also a pile of cards that are no longer in play.
The least amount you can start a game with.
A very big hand. In a tournament, a player who begins to accumulate chips after having a small stack is considered to be a monster.
A game where players can bet as much as they like (as long as they have it in front of them) on any round of betting.
The best possible hand at any point of the game. A hand that cannot be beat.
The probability of making a hand vs. the probability of not making a hand.
Cards of a different suit.
A game in which each player is dealt four down cards with five community cards. To make your hand, you must play two cards from your hand and three from the board.
To make the first bet.
Four consecutive cards whereby one additional (consecutive) card is needed at either end to make a straight.
A card that is dealt face-up.
A pair that has been dealt face-up.
An option is a Live Blind made in the dark before the cards are dealt. If no one raises, the “option” player may raise the pot.
A disc placed in front of a player who wishes to sit out a hand(s) but remain in the game.
Face or picture cards (Jack, Queen and King).
Two cards of the same face or number value.
To call on the final round of betting when you may or may not think you have the best hand.
Face cards (Jack, Queen and King).
To raise or re-raise another player’s bet.
Playing the Board
In flop games when your best five card hand is all five of the community cards.
The down cards or hole cards.
A pair of Aces in the pocket or hole.
Where a player is seated in relation to the dealer, therefore establishing that player’s place in the betting order.
When you post a bet, you place your chips in the pot. (You must post the Blinds.)
The money or chips in the center of a table that players try to win.
This is a game where the maximum bet can equal the pot.
A person hired by the cardroom to work as a shill.
When the dealer pushes the chips to the winning player at the end of a hand. It’s also when dealers rotate to other tables.
To fold a hand.
Four of a kind.
In High-Low games, it is a requirement the Low hand must meet to win the pot.
A tray that holds 100 poker chips in five stacks of twenty chips each.
The rim of a poker table or a barrier outside a poker area.
Someone who hangs around a poker room who watches the games and/or is looking to get into action.
To increase the previous bet.
Chips taken from the pot by the cardroom for compensation for hosting the game.
The value of each card and hand.
When a player knocks on the table indicating that he/she has checked.
Seven Card Stud where the lowest five cards win the pot.
The amount of money a player pays to add a fixed number of chips to his/her stack in a tournament.
To raise a raise.
A “live” game that is not a tournament.
This is the last card given in all games. In Hold’em and Omaha, it is also known as 5th street. In Stud games, it is also known as 7th street.
Round of Betting
This is when players have the opportunity to bet, check or raise. Each round of betting ends when the last bet or raise has been called.
Guys who hustle for a living. This is also the name of a popular poker movie starring Matt Damon and Ed Norton.
This is an Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10) of the same suit. It is the best possible hand in poker.
It is a mini-tournament to gain an entry into a larger tournament.
To win the entire pot.
A waiting list. A player would put his or her name on this list if there were no seats at the table at which they wish to play.
In flop games, when you pair the second highest card on the board.
A well-known poker game in which players get three down cards and four up cards. You play the best five of those seven cards. Click here for information on Seven-card Stud.
This is the final round of betting in Seven Card Stud and Stud 8 or Better.
Shills are paid props who help start and maintain poker games.
At the end of the final betting round, it’s when all active players turn their cards face-up to see who has won the pot.
A separate pot(s) which is contested by remaining active players when one or more players are all-in.
In Seven-card Stud, this is the fourth “up” card dealt to the player (their 6th card). It is also the 4th round of betting.
A fairly tight player (and reasonably good).
The amount put in the pot by the person immediately to the left of the dealer “button” prior to the cards being dealt.
A pair of fives.
A pile of chips.
When a player remains in the game by calling rather than raising.
A five high straight (A-2-3-4-5) of the same suit.
A straddle is a Blind bet which is usually double the size of the Big Blind\ (and that player may raise when the action gets to him).
Five consecutive cards of any suit.
Five consecutive cards of the same suit.
The limits put on the blinds/ante, bets, and raises in any particular game.
Games in which players get down cards and up cards.
A player who is losing in a game.
This is also the name for Hold’em, the most popular form of poker.
In Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud 8 or Better, this is the first betting round on the first three cards.
Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same number or face value (“trips”).
A player who doesn’t play many pots. A tight game is one that doesn’t have much action.
Tournament of Champions.
In flop games, when the player pairs one of his down cards with the highest card on board.
A pair of threes.
Three of a kind.
In flop games, this is the fourth card dealt. It is the third round of betting.
A hand consisting of two different pairs.
A card that is dealt face-up.
A pair of sevens.
A card that can be played as any value.
A losing hand.
World Series of Poker.